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Political Science

Detroit Mercy Students participate in Moot Court as Supreme Court Justices

Political Science and Legal Careers:
Be a Leader and a Force for Change

Our world is made up of diverse and complex cultures and ideologies that create the foundation for our membership in the human polity.  Understanding the rules and relationships that govern societies and learning to research and to ask the questions that serve as the catalyst for change, allow you to see the application of theory in the real world.

Students interested in pursuing a legal career will find that University of Detroit Mercy's political science and pre-law programs emphasize the development of skills, such as critical thinking and writing, necessary for entering and completing law school.

Whether you are pursuing a major, minor or certificate, our programs will help to position you for success with both theory and practice of legal concepts and an understanding of political science. Special opportunities such as our two student organizations, internships in Washington, D.C., moot court simulations and LSAT test preparation all work to complement your Detroit Mercy student experience and prepare you well for your future.

Pre-Law Program

University of Detroit Mercy's Pre-Law Program provides you with a challenging curriculum that will create a solid foundation in your understanding of legal terminology, conducting legal research, writing legal briefs and constructing logical legal arguments.

In addition, you will have a variety of opportunities to receive first-hand knowledge for law-related activities. For example, you will be able to participate in moot court and play various roles from judge to jury and can experience an actual law class simulation from instructors at Detroit Mercy Law.

This program pairs well with diverse majors, including political science, philosophy, English and economics. Once in the program, you are assigned to an advisor from Detroit Mercy's Pre-Law Committee.

Law Day

Law Day is an annual event during the fall semester sponsored by the Pre-Law Committee and co-sponsored by Detroit Mercy's Student group, Students for Politics & Law.

The day's events typically provide you with the opportunity to:

  • Speak with representatives from law schools around the country;
  • Watch a moot court trial;
  • Take a practice LSAT exam; and
  • Learn from a question/answer panel discussion from law school admissions counselors.

Law Day

Undergraduate Programs

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    Major - Political Science

    Degree: Bachelor of Arts
    Major: Political Science

    University of Detroit Mercy's Bachelor of Arts with a major in political science offers you a flexible program organized around the various subfields of political science but also allows substantial concentration in an area of personal interest.

    In addition, if you are interested in pursuing a legal career, Detroit Mercy's political science major emphasizes the development of skills, such as critical thinking and writing, necessary for entering and completing law school. You may also consider completing Detroit Mercy's legal studies certificate to supplement your interest in law.

    To obtain this undergraduate degree, the student must fulfill the requirements of the University core curriculum, the requirements for the 33-credit-hour program major and have completed a minimum of 126 credit hours.

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    Minor - Political Science

    University of Detroit Mercy's 18-credit minor in political science provides you with a flexible program that will allow a broad understanding of the various aspects of the discipline. The program provides the basic foundation in the introductory class followed by a sampling of the subfields.

     
  •  

    Certificate - Legal Studies

    University of Detroit Mercy's Legal Studies Certificate curriculum was developed with guidance from the University's Pre-Law Committee. The 24-credit certificate pairs well with many diverse majors and is helpful to students pursuing a course of pre-law.

Student Opportunities

Students for Politics & Law

Created by the merger of two Detroit Mercy student groups, the Political Science Association (P.S.A.) and the Pre-Law Club, Students for Politics and Law is a non-partisan student organization with the dual goals of (1) fostering political dialogue and providing opportunities for participating in politics (e.g., voter registration, public opinion poling, invited speakers, campaigning) and (2) helping students prepare for law school and subsequent careers in law-related fields (e.g., LSAT test preparation, annual Law Day Fair, mock classes by Detroit Mercy Law School faculty).

Washington Center Program

The Washington Center Program consists of an internship, an academic class and a leadership forum. Programs are available for Summer, Fall and Winter semesters. More than 1,000 internship opportunities are available at organizations including the Library of Congress, the Federal Trade Commission, C-SPAN and the National Institutes of Health. All students are also required to take one of 35 academic courses and participate in the leadership forum.

Washington Center Program

Learning Objectives & Goals

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    Political Science Major

    Graduates of the program will:

    1. Understand the fundamental importance of membership in the human polity (comprehension).

    2. Identify the major ideas and theories and their application to political movements, structures, and institutions in the United States and other countries (empirical).

    3. Develop skills necessary to communicate and evaluate the implications of qualitative and quantitative information relevant to the study and practice of politics (applied).

    4. Develop the ability to make connections between theory and practice, between global and local events, and between political science and other disciplines (analytical/integrative).

  •  

    Political Science Minor

    Graduates of the program will:

    1. Understand the fundamental importance of membership in the human polity (comprehension).

    2. Identify the major ideas and theories and their application to political movements, structures and institutions in the United States and other countries (empirical).

    3. Develop the skills necessary to communicate and evaluate the implications of qualitative and quantitative information relevant to the study and practice of politics (applied).

    4. Develop the ability to make connections between theory and practice, between global and local events, and between political science and other disciplines (analytical/integrative).

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    Legal Studies Certificate

    Graduates of the program will:

    1. Demonstrate an ability to apply their legal knowledge of legal studies in an applied environment (applied).

    2. Demonstrate an ability to perform legal research using standard accepted legal software tools such as Westlaw and Lexis Nexis (analytical/integrative).

    3. Express legal terminology succinctly and professionally both in writing and orally.

    4. Demonstrate an ability to write legal briefs including case briefs and attorney briefs (applied).

    5. Understand the fundamental importance of the role of law in the political system (comprehension).

    6. Develop the critical thinking skills to organize logical legal arguments.

Faculty

Burkholder picture

Donald Burkholder
Retired Associate Professor of Political Science
Detroit Mercy Truman Scholarship Representative and Arbitrator
burkholdr@udmercy.edu

Manning picture

Stephen Manning
Associate Professor of Political Science
Director of the Pre-Law Program
*Department Chair

313-993-1087
mannings@udmercy.edu

Meyers picture

Genevieve Meyers
Assistant Professor of Political Science
313-993-1089
meyersge@udmercy.edu

Zamalin picture

Alex Zamalin
Assistant Professor of Political Science
Director of the African American Studies Program
313-993-1425
zamalial@udmercy.edu


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